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People's Daily Online>>Opinion

Flexibility for progress

(China Daily)

15:19, December 06, 2011

It cannot be more obvious that China does not want the Durban climate change meeting to be a failure.

But while China has shown it is willing to be flexible about binding emission cuts after 2020, it is quite unlikely that the United States will show a similar willingness.

It has already said it will not consider committing to a new legally binding treaty proposed by the European Union unless major developing countries such as China and India first agree to take actions equivalent to those of the industrialized nations.

China's consistent stance is that developed countries should never shirk their responsibility for global warming and thus must take the lead in cutting greenhouse gas emissions. So the first priority is for developed countries to renew their pledges under the Kyoto Protocol before starting to negotiate a new one.

However, it seems that the US has turned a deaf ear to what most developing countries are saying about climate change and has turned a blind eye to the impact that global warming is having around the world.

No wonder that environmental groups and scientists have warned US President Barack Obama that the US is being viewed as the "major obstacle" to progress.

The onus is on the US to make a major shift in its negotiating stance.

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